Skip to Content

Explained: Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage


Health insurance for visitors to the USA can be complex. Despite this fact, it’s a necessity when traveling to the United States, either to attend school, to work, or even just to visit family.

If you’re not used to dealing with American healthcare institutions, it’s difficult to identify the type of visitor’s insurance you should purchase. There are many plans, each with its own unique combination of benefits for situations like accidents, medical emergencies, trip cancellation, and more.

Of these benefits, evacuation and repatriation are two of the least explained, and can easily be overlooked. Today, we’ll explain these two benefits, talk about why they’re so important for different types of health and visitors insurance plans, and show you how to get the right plan for your needs.

What is Evacuation?

Evacuation coverage is a benefit that covers transportation, either by air, sea, or ground, to a medical facility for treatment. This coverage is essential if you’re traveling to an area without accessible medical facilities, but can be important for city and urban destinations as well.

For example, there may be a situation where a traveler has a medical emergency and is sent to a small local hospital. Depending on the type of doctors and equipment available, the attending physician may decide that the patient needs more care than they can provide, and must be evacuated to a facility that offers higher quality care. Evacuation coverage will typically cover the transportation to the second facility, which is most often done by either ambulance or air medical services.

What is Repatriation?

Repatriation is similar to evacuation, but with a few key differences. In situations where a traveler has a medical emergency, they may be given the option to be transported back to their home country to receive treatment there. This is referred to as medical repatriation.

Another frequently used term is repatriation of remains, which refers to a situation when an individual dies outside of their home country. The process of transporting their remains back to their country of origin is known as repatriation of remains, and is an important insurance benefit available in many plans. It isn’t pleasant to think about, but makes a huge difference to your family in case the unthinkable happens. 

The Most Important Aspects of Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage

Now that we’ve defined these terms, let’s learn about the various aspects of these benefits that make them so useful for travelers. Not every visitor insurance plan will have each of these features or services, so decide what’s most important to you, and look for plans that match your needs.

Travel Assistance

Being stuck in a foreign country when you’re ill or injured can be terrifying. Travel assistance is a benefit designed to help with important logistics like changing airlines and modifying rental or hotel reservations. It can even be used to arrange and pay for the services of a translator or interpreter to help you understand what’s going on in a medical emergency.

All these services are integral to helping you get home safely if circumstances have forced you to change your plans.

Emergency Cash Advance

Getting access to cash in an emergency isn’t always easy, especially if you’re in a foreign country that doesn’t have a relationship with the institution you bank with. An emergency cash service will help you withdraw money from your credit cards and accounts, or those of a family member. It’s a huge relief not to have to negotiate a foreign bank system yourself.

Replacement of Lost Travel Documents

Even with so many travel documents available via email or on your mobile phone, there are still important credentials and identification cards that cannot be transferred online. If you lose one of these important documents, the replacement of lost travel documents service can help you.

This service may include everything from contacting your country’s consulate to arrange for a new passport or birth certificate, to helping you organize a new plane ticket if your paper itinerary gets lost.

This is an important service to look for when purchasing insurance for international students, since they’re away from home for extended periods of time and may be more likely to lose these types of documents. 

Legal Referral

If for whatever reason you need a lawyer during your trip or stay in the United States, a legal referral service through your insurance plan will help you set up an initial consultation with a qualified legal representative.

Even if you don’t speak English, travel assistance services through the same insurance plan may be able to secure a translator or interpreter for your consultation, to ensure that you and your lawyer can understand each other.

Pick Visitor Insurance Through Visitor Guard® That Covers Evacuation and Repatriation

Evacuation and repatriation are just two of the most important insurance benefits that travelers to the United States need to be aware of. It isn’t pleasant to think about being ill, injured, or incapacitated, but preparing for the unimaginable in advance will help you stay safe, no matter what happens.

To ensure you’re getting the right insurance plan, choose Visitor Guard® for all your travel and health insurance needs. Our simple search engine makes it easy to identify which plans have the features and benefits you need to keep you safe while you’re in the United States. From there, purchasing is easy, then you’re ready to travel.

Whether you need insurance for your international student or just health insurance for your next holiday to the United States, we can help you find the plan you need.

Have any questions about our available plans? Get in touch today to speak to one of our knowledgeable agents.

Chiranth Nataraj

Chiranth Nataraj

Travel Insurance Expert

Chiranth Nataraj is a licensed insurance agent and the principal at, an independent insurance agency that provides visitor insurance to customers across the United States and the world. With over 20 years of experience, Chiranth has been instrumental in educating the travel community, new immigrants, the international student community, and foreign governments about visitor medical insurance to cover medical expense risks. He has built a team that strives to make the preferred choice for travelers, exchange visitor organizations, and international universities. His insights and expertise have made him a popular industry voice, and he is often featured in USA Today, Forbes, Washington Post, and many more.


Recent posts

Student travel insurance is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of students studying.

Explore More

Though your parents reach their golden years, the joy of travel remains. But ensuring.

Explore More

Safe Travels USA Comprehensive and Safe Travels USA both are comprehensive travel medical insurance.

Explore More




Back to top